Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was at Staley Elementary School in Rome on Wednesday to advocate for her proposal to expand the Pandemic EBT Program as millions of New Yorkers struggle with food insecurity.

The program provides nutritional resources to families in who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gillibrand wants to extend P-EBT in addition to a 15-percent increase in SNAP benefits to help keep New Yorkers fed.

“This pandemic and economic crisis have left people sick and scared, hurting and hungry. Through no fault of their own, people have lost their jobs, their paychecks, and their ability to put food on the table. That’s why it’s critical that the next relief package prioritizes expanding SNAP and P-EBT benefits through these uncertain times,” said Gillibrand.

About 2.1 million statewide are eligible for Pandemic EBT and more than half of K-to-12 students in Oneida County get free or reduced-price school lunch.